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Federal government gets permission to argue for gay marriage before Supreme Court

Federal government gets permission to argue for gay marriage before Supreme Court

The US government has been granted face time before the Supreme Court later this month during oral arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.

The Department of Justice had asked to participate in the arguments scheduled for 26 March and the court granted the request today.

The order states: ‘The motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument is granted.’

Proposition 8 is a referendum approved by California voters in 2008 banning gay marriage.

Last month, President Barack Obama asked the court to allow gay marriages to resume in California in a brief filed by the Justice Department.

The brief stated: ‘Tradition, no matter how long established, cannot by itself justify a discriminatory law. Prejudice may not be the basis for differential treatment under the law. … The designation of marriage, conveys a message to society that domestic partnerships or civil unions cannot match.’

There had been mounting pressure on the Obama administration to get involved in the case.

‘When the Supreme Court essentially called the question by taking this case about California’s law, I didn’t feel like that was something this administration could avoid,’ Obama said earlier this month. ‘I felt it was important for us to articulate what I believe and what this administration stands for.’